Love means going back to get the mustard


pexels-photo.jpgIt was a cold, rainy, winter morning when I received her text. My wife had been searching for the sausage biscuits. It was then that hit me. I was supposed to have gotten a box of sausage biscuits the night before when I was at the grocery store. I forgot. And I am such a selfish pig sometimes and didn’t want to be bothered with a trip to the grocery store.

So, I replied to let her know I would leave right then to buy some sausage biscuits and take them home to her for breakfast.

I marched ever so confidently (and rather hurriedly) into the grocery store to pick out what she wanted, hoping no one could read the expression of disgust on my face for having to be in there for the second day in a row. On my way out in the pouring down rain with the bag of biscuits in hand, it felt like it was mission accomplished. I could deliver the biscuits to my wife and my life would be back to the normal routine for the day. I had bailed myself out of a potentially bad situation. Yay me.

But that’s when another thought came to mind. And this one irritated me even more. I wonder if she’s going to want mustard with her biscuits? As I stood there in the freezing rain contemplating this question, I decided the least I could do for myself was ponder this in my car out of the rain. And the least I could do for her was to send her a text, asking about the mustard. Mind you, this was while knowing good and well that we had run out of mustard at home a few days before. And I was secretly hoping she wouldn’t respond to my text in time where I would have to get back out and go back in the store. I waited patiently for a couple of minutes for her response. But got nothing. As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, a quiet little voice in my head said, “You know you’re setting yourself up for failure by leaving without having gotten her text, right?” Am I the only man who talks to himself that way?

You know what happened next. The text came…just as soon as the back tires of my car left the grocery store parking lot.  I pulled up to a stop sign and read her text.

She wanted mustard.

I begrudgingly turned around at the next stop light, went back into the grocery store, and bought some mustard to go with the (stupid) sausage biscuits. When I made it home, my wife was thrilled to have mustard to go with her biscuits. And I was soaked and well on my way to pneumonia (at least, in my mind).

There are many people in our world trying to define and find true love. Our culture tries to convince us that it is found in the sappy, romantic reality tv shows that fill the networks of the day. It seems like it has almost become a thing to see who can go on a date and take their clothes off the fastest. But In real life, love is found in the simplest of things. In this case, love meant going back for the mustard when everything in me just wanted to go home and not spend another second in the cold rain or in the grocery store.

One thing I am learning is that love is rarely convenient for the one trying to express it. And yet, by its very nature, that’s exactly what love is. Love is sacrificial, the opposite of self-seeking. And I’m not very good at it.

As we go about our day, may we be found growing in this area of our lives, looking for those moments to express true love, even when it means going back to get the (stupid) mustard.


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